New Delhi: In a twist to the Congress leadership issue in Rajasthan, veteran Congress leader and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot has announced his entry in the upcoming assembly election. The announcement has fuelled confusion over the leadership in the state as state unit chief Sachin Pilot was seen as an obvious choice for the post of chief minister.
While confirming the announcement, Ashok Gehlot said, “The speculation around infighting in the state unit is over. We are entering the fray together. Both (Sachin) Pilot ji and I will contest the election.”
According to media sources, Sachin Pilot was not in favour of contesting the election with Gehlot. However, while putting speculations of ongoing power struggle between the two leaders to the end, Pilot said, “I and Gehlot ji will fight the elections and together we will bring Congress back to power.”
“Rahul Gandhi ji ke aadesh aur Ashok Gehlot ji ke nivedan par main bhi chunav ladunga. (On the instructions of Rahul Gandhi and on the request of Ashok Gehlot, I will also contest the polls),” he added.
Sachin Pilot, who has represented the state twice as an MP from Dausa (2004–09) and from Ajmer (2009–14), is widely credited by his party members for revamping the Rajasthan unit of Congress. He is seen as the chief ministerial candidate for the party in this election. Ex-chief minister Gehlot has also remained politically active. He was elected as the general All India Congress Comittee general secretary in 2017 and is seen as someone close to Rahul Gandhi.
Rajasthan will go to the polls on December 7.